The 2008 Roinn I team showed all their famous fighting spirit in this exciting semi final but were agonisingly edged out on the end by a fine Dunboyne side.
Watched and roared on by their squad mates who were heading to Seneschaltown for their final the young Cilles started a little slowly, perhaps nerves on this big getting the better of the side. Dunboyne were first out of the blocks with a point before Diarmuid Loughman pointed off his left and both sides went into the Waterbreak level at 1 point each.
After the break the young Cilles really hit their straps and Sean Wyley, doing as he has done all year hit the net in fine style to send the blues ahead. Following a fine move with the energetic and elusive Ciaran Grant the Cilles hit a fine score from distance to go further ahead but a fine rally saw Dunboyne back ahead 1-4 to 1-3.
The second half was equally nip and tuck with all Cilles players getting their chance to shine and the influential Paidi Gallagher showed great composure and linked the play well as Cilles went ahead by one point mid way. It was going to take something special for Dunboyne to pull this one out of the bag but some quick fire scores had them back on even terms and just as the water break arrived they got a dramatic goal that just gave them that breathing space 1-7 to 2-9.
Cilles threw everything at it In the final moments showing their famed fighting spirit but in one of the last plays the visitors sneaked another goal against the run of play and it finished 1-9 to 3-10 in Dunboynes favour- a score line that scarcely does the young Seasiders any justice. As always the Cilles had many stars, Evan Mooney in goals, Gearoid Reidy and Jack O Byrne all starring ably assisited by the stylish Daithi O Brien and tenacious James Murphy and Sam Grimes. Up front Cianan Collier, Diarmuid Loughman and Paidi Gallagher all caught the eye with Cian Morgan, Sean Wyley and Ciaran Grant their usual busy selves. But there were many heroes and players all over the pitch like Aaron Cranley, Owen Mulligan, Austin Fanning, Se Downey and David O Connell to name just a few. Fionn O Grady, Conall O Reilly, Harry Toolan and Jamie Welthagen had great campaigns whilst the loss of Daire McCarthy, Leon Lynam, Timmy Maza and Dylan Smith were sorely felt on the day. It was great to see Alex Martin, Ruairi Kenny and Keelan McKenna back in recent weeks and an exciting 2022 awaits them.
A massive thanks to the excellent management team of Mark Gallagher and Jason Collier who left no stones unturned in preparing the boys!
Bright bright days ahead
Photography: Brian Mulligan